German insurer Allianz plans £2-bn bid for Channel Tunnel - London rail link

Allianz, the €97.39-billion German insurance giant is planning to make a £2-billion bid in the auction for the soon to be privatised Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link that is expected to link London with the Channel Tunnel.

Munich-based Allianz will be one of the many bidders that are planning a bid for the 110-km High Speed 1 (HS1) line, which will link central London to the Channel Tunnel to France.

It will be the first major UK transport infrastructure sale since airport operator BAA sold London's Gatwick airport late last year to Credit Suisse and General Electric promoted US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

In August the UAE sovereign wealth, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), agreed to join Morgan Stanley and private equity firm 3i, to bid for the auction, (See: Abu Dhabi fund joins Morgan Stanley to bid for UK Channel Tunnel rail link) while another consortium led by Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel, which has Goldman Sachs and Infracapital as partners and CKI, the investment group owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing have submitted their bids in the first-round bids in August with the second round expected soon. 
 
Aaccording to analysts, High Speed 1 (HS1), which owns the railway stations and track connecting London with the Channel Tunnel, could command a price of between £1.5 billion and £2 billion.